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Families of two Utahns say both were happy and pleased to be on missions

Published: Saturday, Aug. 23 2014 12:40 p.m. MDT

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trekker
Salt Lake, UT

This so sad to hear about. My thoughts and prayers go out to the missionaries' families and friends.

Zgeo
Tempe, AZ

Our hearts, thoughta and prayers go out to the families of these fallen missionaires. Surely they were called to the other side to continue their missions.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

To anyone who has had a kid in the mission field news like this is a sock in the stomach. Commenting does no good of course, except that it allows us to share the pain.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

I couldn't help wondering what "no sign of foul play" would have to do with the sudden deaths of two healthy young men. Checking the Taiwanese news sites, I found a mention of the incident. According to one website (ETtoday), police suspect they died of carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by an unvented gas-fired demand-type water heater.

(Slightly awkward Google Translate version of page's original Chinese text: "due to the water heater in the room, the police preliminary judgment, when a man suspected of taking a bath which did not open the window, cause carbon monoxide filled the house, both died of poisoning, will be reported to clarify the cause of death autopsy.")

I would hope that when missionaries are sent out, they would be given safety tips appropriate to the types of lodgings they could be expected to encounter in their mission areas. This seems like avoidable negligence on somebody's part.

BrentBot
Salt Lake City, UT

If there was "no foul play" in the Taiwan incident, it was likely due to carbon monoxide. It is difficult to get missionaries to change the batteries in their CO or smoke detector when it "chirps". Perhaps missions should insist on extra batteries to be stored in case of an inoperable CO or smoke detector.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

May God give their families peace.

mindgames
Aurora, CO

This is such sad news. I know the Vea family for many years from their time in the Aurora Stake and the Denver Stake. Although there is great faith involved in these moments there is also a great plan that Heavenly Father has for each of His children. Nancy has lived a happy life and is gone for a period but there will be a reuniting that will be glorious. Heavenly Father has provided us with sealing powers that will seal families together forever.

To the families of each of these families I know that these missionaries--your children--are gone but they will not be forgotten, and they will not be lost.

May God bless you in your recovery and comfort you in your times of need.

KendalHunter
Provo, UT

In 1989, Elder M. Russell Ballard addressed the subject of missionaries dying in the field. "To all parents, family members, and friends of missionaries who have lost their lives while in the service of the Master, we extend to you our love, gratitude, and prayers for comfort and peace."

estudiante
Lindon, UT

Please, people, do not make U-turns on expressways and freeways. Take the exit, even if it is several miles away.

niners
SAINT GEORGE, UT

Just waiting for the public statements reassuring everyone "it is still safer to be a 20 year old missionary than a 20 year old not on a mission."

worf
Mcallen, TX

Thank you Elders, and Sister Vea for your service.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

Having lived in countries and traveling to others in Europe, Latin America and Asia that use various types of heating methods, water and home, safety for those that may not be accustomed to the methods locals use is a definite consideration. Younger missionaries may not understand all the aspects since they haven't gone to college or worked away from home. Missionaries need a good safety education for even the locals that may know the dangers but may not know the foreign missionaries don't know those dangers. Some don't use reflective vests that may be a common practice with many bikers, day or night on highly trafficked two-lane roads with no shoulder with chuck holes. Vehicles dodge these holes to avoid the holes but don't see missionaries on bikes with dark suits and no reflective protection. The problems with carbon monoxide, electricity, traffic problems and health issues can be taught and learned but takes time and energy. The safety and welfare of missionaries is an ongoing process with younger missionaries that haven't had a year at work or college on their own to learn about non-protective world environments away from their parent's guidance.

hockeymom
Highland, UT

I have two sons who have served, another one currently serving and all have said that if they died in the mission field, they felt fairly confident they would receive a ticket straight to the Celestial Kingdom. One even had the 4th verse of "Come, Come Ye Saints" as the "scripture" for his wall plaque. He was that willing to put himself in the hands of the Lord for those two years and had perfect faith that God knew what was best for him. He came home safe and sound, BTW.

As far as these 3 missionaries goes, I'm not saying it was "their time", after all, accidents are sometimes just accidents. It's hard to tell parents who's children have such promising futures and Patriarchal blessings that it was "God's will". But there is the millennium for all things to be sorted out and "restored" to them and their parents. Somehow Heavenly Father will find a way to use their deaths to further His kingdom and bring souls of those left behind, unto Christ.

Prayers for the families.

tgurd
Gonzales, LA

I know the feelings these families must feel in the loss of a son or daughter serving on a mission. If I may add some words of comfort. The Lord has need of righteous missionaries on the other side as well as this side, I think the real test of most challenges is can we accept Heavenly Fathers will? We know not reasons why some are taken and others not, I had a granddaughter that died in a car accident, only one with a seat belt on, 2 died of 5, 3 were injured quite seriously. My wife and I wept and as we prayed for answers, in our minds we got the conformation that she was ok and not to worry about her. I testify we can get revelation and a relieve of mind in these cases, the Lord has said I shall not leave you comfortless, believe in that and you will feel the presence of those taken and know they are needed and are fine on the other side.

Tahoemormon70
Bountiful, UT

This incident is exactly reminiscent of what happened to two missionaries who were serving in the Romania Bucharest Mission 4-1/2 years ago. Those missionaries died due to CO poisoning when they went to sleep after accidentally leaving the gas-heater on. If these two left the gas running on their unit, then it is highly possible that this is the certain cause. I remember when I was in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine on my mission and we had one of those heaters. Fortunately, the one time that we forgot to turn off the unit was in the morning after our showers were done and we went out in the morning to do some shopping. We returned several hours later and the fumes hit us almost instantly. Thank goodness that we were on the top floor of our apartment building and had windows everywhere. The CO was worse than the noxious gas chamber that I had to go through when I went through Navy boot camp.

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

My heart goes out to the families of each of these young people.

JWB: I agree with you. The need for detailed and intense safety training is particularly needed now that we have even younger missionaries being sent out. Many of these young people come from countries with strong consumer safety and building code standards, and are being assigned to areas where these protections do not exist. Without training and education on the risks and safety measures needed in their specific countries and regions, these young people are exposed to dangers, in many cases, that they cannot be adequately focused on.

Without a change in the safety training culture in the missionary program, we will continue to see the kinds of "accidents" that we continue to see with some regularity. We love the church and the missionary program. It does a lot of good in the world for those who serve and those who are served. We have upped the bar for missionary prep in recent years. Let's now up the bar on safety training and do a better job helping our missionaries return home safely.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

nothing can prepare a parent for this type of news. Nothing. First of all let me say how deeply sorry I am for both sets of parents who lost their missionary son or daughter. These young men and women are at the prime of life on a mission both spiritually and physically and losing them is hard to wrap your mind around. I can't begin to understand the pain that must be felt by both families.

When you send a missionary out into the field you keep tucked away in the far corner of your mind the potential for this type of thing happening and perhaps that is part of the reason why it is so hard to say goodbye at the MTC. There is some solice in the fact that these missionaries were happy and doing great things in their life at the time of their death.

I wish the Church could make missions completely safe but the nature of this life and the world in general make that impossible.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

RE: JWB "Missionaries need a good safety education..." Every mission needs a safety officer.

joy
Logan, UT

Maybe it would be helpful to include some safety instructions in the missionary papers the YM/YW receives for their mission. Even a website for them to go to with a video covers many things that a missionary needs to know concerning safety issues. It's hard to fit it all in at the MTC.

My heart goes out to these families and find my testimony increasing with the faith of these families.

With the amount of the number increase in missionaries since the age change I'm sure we may see more incidences of accidents and deaths but the percentage will remain the same I'm sure.

May the Lord watch over all our missionaries and their families.

One opinion
west jordan, UT

Death in apartments or homes can come from faulty gas lines - it happens here. My condolences go to the families of all three families, and I pray they may feel the peace of a loving Heavenly Father. I feel they left this earth in the Lord's care.

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